Bushbuckridge Local Municipality is a presidential nodal point located in the south- eastern part of Limpopo Province and northeastern part of Mpumalanga Province. The municipality is one of the two constituents of the former Bohlabela District Municipality (Within Ba-Phalaborwa Local Municipality) further north, Fetakgomo Local Municipality in the west. The Municipal area provides a link to Lydenburg and other centres in the lowveld, particularly Hoedspruit, Pilgrim Rest and Graskop. Bushbuckridge Local Municipality can therefore be called the gateway to the major tourism attraction points in Mpumalanga and the eastern part of the Limpopo Province.
The Municipality covers 198,000 ha of land area, of which 1970 ha are agricultural land, 1860 ha residential area and water bodies. Bushbuckridge Local Municipality consists of 135 settlements and is divided into 34 wards.
The main purpose of this section is to develop a good understanding of the key social and economic features of the municipal area and their impact on spatial and sustainable development.
Age and Gender
Accurate population figures remain a controversial, so the municipality will rely on the outdated 2001 statistics. The highest population is registered by Africans with 497 771 people, residing in Bushbuckridge followed by coloured with 853 people, Indians/Asians with 109 people and whites registering the lowest with 334 people.
Females represent a considerable majority (almost 54%), reflecting the impact of the migrant labour. The age groups of 0-5yrs and 6-16 yrs, males are substantially more than females, which reflect a normal curve. The municipal area also registers the highest average of settlement density with 21.10. People per ha.
The figure below indicates the status of employment. It leaves no doubt that unemployment is very high in the municipal area especially in rural areas, with less than 15% of the total population employed.
Income per Household
Income per household is very necessary to determine the overall living standard of people in the municipal area. High levels of poverty resulting in low income per household characterize the municipal area. The below figure demonstrate that the household income in the municipal area is below the subsistence income levels for most of the households and reflect a high level of poverty.